Gathering In The Bog

Tawny Cotton Grass Eriophorum virginicum

Tawny Cotton Grass
Eriophorum virginicum

Bogs are one of our favorite habitats. We are lucky to have several nearby, and we love to walk down to explore them. The closest is only 1/4 of a mile down from the edge of our woods. This time of year I go to harvest some of the wild cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccos) that are growing there. I’ll use the cranberries in a sauce to can for the holidays and freeze some as well. I love squatting down among the now crimson red sphagnum moss (Sphagnum rubellum), the rhodora (Rhododendron canadense), and larches ( Larix laricina), to fill a small basket with the tart berries. I also love feeling the satisfaction of having this fruit, which is so rich in both antioxidants and nutrients, so close by. picture-3641
It’s quite serene in the bog, a divine stillness really. I am certain it is a place we won’t likely bump into fellow (human) ‘woods walkers’, though it is evident that deer and moose are finding refuge in the bog. We follow their trails along the edge, and we can see where they have stopped to browse many of the water plants that grow there. This particular bog does not have much open water. It is covered with a thick mat of sphagnum moss, cranberries, three- seeded bog sedge (Carex trisperma), tawny cotton grass ( Eriophorum virginicum), rhodora ( Rhodora canadense), and Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum) to name a few. The color in the bog is stunning right now, although we love the beauty and diversity of these soggy habitats all year round. Now that the gardening season is winding down, it allows us to do a little exploring. If you know of a bog near you….treat yourself, and go check it out!picture-3651
Larix laricina

Larix laricina

picture-3659

8 comments on “Gathering In The Bog

  1. When I was growing up we had a camp on a Vermont lake with a “floating island” bog in the middle. It was a magical place to me and even had pitcher plants and sundews. A remarkable botanical playground for a kid.

    • The plants we find in bogs are quite amazing, often having unique adaptations to survive the lack of nutrients and having their roots continuously soggy. I love the quiet of the bog, especially in the morning. You are right, a botanical playground!

    • Not many people visit bogs ( thankfully), it does have a very serene feeling to it and we are very carefully to tread lightly there, not wanting to disturb its ecosystem, which is so precious. I love it most on a misty or foggy morning….delight.

  2. Denise, your good husband offered to stratify some seed for me when I visited this summer. Might he be willing to try oriental alkanet and rhodiola ? I got a small amount to start last winter but I have a sunny slope to cover which is rocky. We have a Native American restoration and medicinal plant sanctuary in Augusta on the Kennebec. Thank you Linda Harrell

    • Hello Linda, nice to hear from you and Rick said he may be able to help with your seeds. Can you give us a call to bring seeds by? 589-4726. We’re here working in the gardens or splitting wood most day, best to call to be sure we’re nearby. best to you, denise

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